Can Owls Swim? (Can They Survive In Water For Long?)

We often believe that birds and swimming are intertwined and it comes naturally to them. However, on the other side of the spectrum, there are others who believe it may not be exactly so. In this article, we will try to find out the answer to the question: can owls swim?  

Normally, owls do not swim and their bodies are not designed to stay in water for long periods of time. However, it would be wrong to suggest that owls cannot swim in the water. They are capable of swimming but only do it if forced to. 

They do not swim unless they are forced 

When push comes to shove owls are capable of swimming and there have been many instances where this has happened. We will learn about it and find out why owls generally do not want to swim in the water. 

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Yes, it is a fact that owls are not made for swimming. But there are some recorded instances where people have seen these nocturnal birds swimming in the water. Bald Eagles are also birds that are not considered to be good swimmers. However, they do swim once in a while, especially when it comes to catching prey.

It would be wrong to assume that owls would swim to catch their prey. However, there could be very rare situations where a few owls may have been forced to get into water perhaps to escape some other birds who may have tried to kill them.

Falcons are considered to be dangerous for owls and they are known to feed on small owls and even medium-sized owls on a regular basis. Hence, such a life and death situation may have forced the owls to jump into the water when all other options may have run out. 

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I Don't Like To Get Wet
I Don’t Like To Get Wet

We also need to bear in mind that falcons are considered to be highly territorial and they often enter into territorial disputes with the Great Horned Owl. There may have been some rare occasions where these great horned owls may have been forced to get into the water because of unavoidable situations

Such occasions are rare 

We need to bear in mind that the talons of owls are not good enough for forward propulsion. Further, once they are in water, owls could find themselves almost defenseless because their bodies are not made for being in water for long periods of time and swimming in the water.

If they get into the water during the daytime, they also may not be able to see well and this again could add to their problem. Once owls are in the water they cannot get out of it and fly and they have to find a way by which they are able to reach the shores. This could endanger their lives and this is perhaps one of the main reasons why owls prefer to stay out of the water and avoid swimming. 

They swim slowly and carefully 

However, when the push comes to shove, and if the owls find that they have no other option left, they make use of their wings quite effectively. There are some exciting videos that show these wonderful birds making very good use of their wings to propel themselves forward. However, they are extremely slow in their movements and each and every propulsion forward may look difficult, laborious, and painful 

There are also some more theories that may point towards owls becoming good at swimming. There could be predatory birds and other animals that could push out the owls from their nests. When this happens, the owls have no other option but are made to fend for themselves.

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When they are faced with this sudden situation of being self-sufficient, they may have no other option but to learn the basic lessons pertaining to swimming. Many of them have even fallen into water by accident and may also have found themselves surrounded by predators like falcons. Under such circumstances, they may be left with no other option but to look for avenues by which they are able to escape.

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Big owls even when in water are quite powerful and they may be in a position to give a tough fight to falcons though the latter may be more agile and better placed to win the battle against owls in the water. 

The final word 

Though hesitant swimmers, owls may be forced to swim when they are faced with a situation where the choice lies between swimming their way to safety or getting killed and being devoured by their predators.  

Can Owls Swim? Pin It!
Can Owls Swim? Pin It!